“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.’”
This selection from Job chapter one has some strong insights for us as parents and leaders. In part two of a three part series, I will discuss the parenting lessons and insights I have learned regarding respect and being gospel-focused.
Imagine if I sent my kid outside to play in the neighborhood and after 4 hours, he comes back in. I ask, “Where have you been?” He responds with a guarded and distant, “Outside.” I am thrown off, curious, and likely upset at this point. “Where were you outside? What have you been doing? What brings you back?” are all implied questions since it was I who sent him outside in the first place. I am not merely asking him to reiterate my original instructions or the standard with which I held him to.
God casts Satan to the earth, has allowed him to be the prince of the earth and the implications of God’s question, “From where do you come?” are more spiritual, moral, mental, and emotional than mere physical. Satan’s response to God, “Roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” Obviously, Satan has not learned respect in his time on earth. God knows Satan is on the earth because He bound him there until Judgment Day. (God asks a similar question to Adam in Genesis 3:9.) Even worse, Satan repeats this behavior again in chapter two after refusing to be humbled by God from the first lesson!
God has also bound and tasked us with His divine purpose in mind. We can reject our treasures, talents, and calling to pursue idols, selfish ambitions, and the pride of life. Emphasis on the pronoun ‘our.’ These are free gifts from God that we merely receive, appreciate, and use for His glory. How do we respond when we see those subtle or obvious reminders from God, “Where are you?” Since He knows who you are, your ins and outs, your capabilities and limitations it is implied, “What are you doing with the talents and treasures I have given you? Are you blooming where I have planted you? Are you feeding My sheep?” Emphasis on the pronoun ‘My.’ When we become adopted by God through relationship with Jesus, we merely steward everything we have including our own children. It is all His. We must acknowledge God in proper respect so that when He calls we respond, “Here I am Lord, your faithful servant.”
I am awe-struck at God’s response to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” It is amazing that Satan is even allowed to come to the meeting in the first place, but then again it is not. If anyone truly had an ‘open-door policy’ it is God. Notice, God doesn’t make Satan come to the meeting. Satan no longer wanted to honor God for who He was (Isaiah 12:14-15). God is a Gentleman, He won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. Even on Judgement Day He is giving you over to the lusts in your heart, your degrading passions, and your depraved mind (Romans 1). He calls you to salvation, worship, and submission but He lets you make the choice. The same goes for the church. The church should not be in the business of coercing people to spirituality and morality with music, coffee, and niceness. The church shouldn’t be in business at all. It should be submitting to its Head, Jesus Christ, the Word personified. Nevertheless, God keeps the meeting on track despite Satan’s distracting and rude responses. Out of all the responses God could have used, He directs the attention towards helping Satan, He is gospel-focused. God uses this opportunity to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). God uses frail human beings to show the angels that reverence and gratitude are the righteousness of God revealed from faith (2 Peter 1:12; Romans 1:17-21). Satan assumes man only honors God because He gives them material possessions, health, relationships, and ultimately life itself. Instead of us pursuing the things Satan assumes we worship (for good reason — power, wealth, happiness, life), let us pursue relationships (Matthew 28:19-20). In God’s grace and mercy, gospel-focused relationships end up leading us towards life and life more abundantly (Matthew 6:33).
If you missed Part 1 you can read it here.